Thursday, February 14, 2008

Smoking Section: Ellen Page, Adam Green, Jazz & Heritage Festival

Since actress Ellen Page — you know, Juno — dragged the Moldy Peaches out of obscurity and steered her flick’s soundtrack to the Number One spot, we thought we’d probe her musical tastes. “This is going to show how young I am” — twenty — “but the first intense experience I had was when I heard ‘Pyramid Song,’ from Radiohead’s Amnesiac,” says Page. “I was like, ‘How can this paralyze me?’ ” She is just as “effin’ crazy” about In Rainbows. Also on her iPod: Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s cover of John Denver’s “The Eagle and the Hawk”; U.K. sensation Bat for Lashes (”The video for ‘What’s a Girl to Do?’ is sick!”); everything by Missy Elliott, Cat Power and Feist; and finally, “Ice Cream,” by New Young Pony Club (”Like, is that not slutty?”). Page, like Juno, plays some rudimentary guitar, but she won’t be putting out an album: “That would be lame. No one would respect me ever again.” * * * * Speaking of the Moldy Peaches, our hero Adam Green’s new album, Sixes & Sevens, is out in March — twenty songs stuffed into forty-eight action-packed minutes. “For my fifth studio album, I hired some Brooklyn gospel singers to give my music some class,” says Green. “It’s a comeback album with a message.” The single “Morning After Midnight” is already a hit in Belgium; he duets with girlfriend Loribeth Capella on “Drowning Head First”; and “You Get So Lucky” revives the pan flute. “I nearly crapped myself after that,” he says. “I knew that my life was never going to be the same.” Our favorite? “Getting Led,” which Green describes as “a sweet and tender song about fatalism and submission.” “People say I’m the Jewish Kurt Cobain,” says Green. “But I’m really the Woody Allen of music.” Discuss. * * * * When you buy your plane tickets down to New Orleans for the annual Jazz & Heritage Festival in late April, be sure to factor in the seventh annual Ponderosa Stomp. The P-Stomp is a two-night celebration in the Big Easy, wedged between the two weekends of Jazz Fest, featuring kick-ass “unsung” artists, including Roky Erickson, Mary Weiss of the Shangri-Las, Ronnie Spector, ? and the Mysterians and tons more. The S.S. is most stoked to see Syl Johnson, the R&B star whose glory years came on Hi Records. “I did some bad shit on that label,” Johnson says, citing gems like his own version of “Take Me to the River,” but he was largely outshone by labelmate Al Green. Down in the Big Easy, Johnson will reunite with the legendary Hi Rhythm Section, which, in the S.S.’s estimation, is the greatest house band of all. Says Johnson, “It’s gonna be a monster.”

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